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Reverend Earl Allen at Houston MLK Memorial (1968)

KPRC-TV

Sound | 1968

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  •  The Reverend Earl Allen describes Houston as a “police state” 
  •  Allen’s comments about grand juries most likely refer to the trial of the TSU Five. The TSU Five were a small group of Texas Southern University students charged with assault and murder following the violent confrontation between police officers and students in May 1967. A judge ultimately dismissed the case due to insufficient evidence.   
 
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This news segment for Houston’s KPRC-TV captures scenes from a local memorial service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 14, 1968—ten days after the civil rights leader’s assassination. An estimated crowd of 2,500 silently marched through the streets of Houston before gathering in Emancipation Park. Speakers at the service included then Texas Senator Barbara Jordan and the Reverend Earl Allen. In his speech, seen here, Allen calls for the establishment of a civilian review board and the promotion of black police officers.